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HOWTO: Create Custom Project Templates


Article ID: IRKB-AM3-000005

The information in this article applies to:


AutoPlay Menu Studio 3.0

Summary
This article explains how you can create custom project templates to use in AutoPlay Menu Studio 3.0.

Details

What is a Project Template?


A project template is an AutoPlay Menu Studio 3.0 project file containing default project settings that can
be modified and saved as a new project. The project templates are accessed through the Project
Template Gallery, which is displayed when AutoPlay Menu Studio is started. It can also be invoked at
any time by choosing Project | Template Gallery from the menu.

IRKB-AM3-000005 - Page 1 of 1
Last Reviewed: November 20, 2000
2000 Indigo Rose Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
You will notice that when a project template is loaded the project is still untitled allowing you to modify the
projects settings and then save the project with your own filename. This ensures that the project
template is always the same whenever it is loaded and not saved over.

AutoPlay Menu Studio comes with a number of project templates that you can use to get your project up
and running quickly and to use as samples that you can refer to from time to time. You may find it useful
to create your own templates if your company likes to keep a consistent look and feel to your AutoPlay
CD-ROM menus. This way you or other AutoPlay menu developers can be sure to start with common
project settings.

Project Templates Location


A project template is simply a regular AutoPlay Menu Studio project file (filename.am3) saved in the
Templates directory along with a template configuration file and an optional template image file. The
project file will need to have the .amt file extension instead of the .am3 file extension for it to be
considered a valid template file.

The Templates directory is a subdirectory of your AutoPlay Menu Studio directory (C:\Program
Files\AutoPlay Menu Studio 3.0\Templates by default). If you look in the Templates directory you will see
the files and settings for the existing project templates. This is also where you will add your new custom
project template.

Steps to Create a Custom Project Template


Here are the general steps that should be used to create a custom project template:

Create a project in the AutoPlay Menu Studio design environment as usual.


When the project is configured to your satisfaction, save it as a regular .am3 file on your hard
drive (using File | Save As).
Copy the .am3 file to the Templates directory.
Rename the file so that is has the .amt file extension. For example, if your project is called
MyTemplate.am3, rename it to MyTemplate.amt.
Create and configure a template configuration file (i.e. MyTemplate.ini) in the Templates
directory with the settings for your new template. It is probably easiest to create a copy of an
existing template configuration file and then rename it. See The Template Configuration File
below for details about the template configuration file format.
Optionally create a template image file that will be displayed in the Template Gallery (i.e.
MyTemplate.bmp). See Creating a Template Image below for details.

The Template Configuration File


The template configuration file is used to tell the Project Template Gallery about your project template.
Template configuration files are ASCII text files that follow the Windows Initialization File (INI file) format.
They can be edited with any standard text editor such as Notepad. Template Configuration files are
formatted as follows:

[AMS30Template]
Filename=MyTemplate.amt
Description=My Custom Template
Longdescription=This is a standard project template that should be used for XYZ Software menus.
Screenshot=MyTemplate.bmp

The first line is the section name, which should always be [AMS30Template]. This section name must
be kept as it is or else the Project Template Gallery will not include your template.

IRKB-AM3-000005 - Page 2 of 2
Last Reviewed: November 20, 2000
2000 Indigo Rose Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
The Filename= key is used to specify the name of your template file. You do not need to specify a full
path; you only need to specify the name of the file. The file is always assumed to be in the Templates
directory.

The Description= key is used to specify a short description of the project template. This description will
appear under or next to the icon in the Project Template Gallery.

The Longdescription= key is where you can specify a longer description of the template. This
description will be used in the Description section of the Project Template Gallery.

The Screenshot= key is used to specify the name of a bitmap image file (Filename.bmp) that should
be used to represent this template in the Preview section of the Project Template Gallery. You do not
need to specify a full path; you only need to specify the name of the file. The file is always assumed to be
in the Templates directory. Note that this field is optional, if you do not include the name of a template
image file, the Preview section will not display any image at all.

Creating a Template Image


The template image is simply a standard Windows bitmap image file (.bmp extension) that will be used as
a visual representation of the project template in the Preview section of the Project Template Gallery.
Generally this would be a screenshot of the final menu that is created with the project template. You can
capture a screenshot of your menu by running your menu, selecting Alt-Print Screen on your keyboard
and then opening your favorite paint program and pasting the image into it from the clipboard (generally
Edit | Paste).

The image should be reduced to 256 colors. It can have any dimensions but it will be resized to 174x141
when displayed in the Project Template Gallery.

More Information
It is a good idea to look at the templates that ship with AutoPlay Menu Studio in the Templates directory.
These existing templates and template configuration files can provide useful examples. More templates
will be made available online, from time to time, at: http://www.indigorose.com/autoplay/templates.html.
If you have any questions about creating custom project templates that are not covered in this document,
please email them to support@indigorose.com or ask them in our online user forums on the Indigo Rose
Web site (http://www.indigorose.com).

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Last Reviewed: November 20, 2000
2000 Indigo Rose Corporation. All Rights Reserved.